I have done some searches and none really fit my problem. We live on the east side of a river. Our entire place is DEEP, DEEP, DEEP in river sand. I have leveled an area 100 x 200 and I want to add "something" to the top that will be firm enough to ride young horses and dressage type riding, not really any jumpng.
The sand base is literally "never ending deep", so taking sand away is not an option.
What will work on top that won't get instantly gobbled up by the sand base from riding and general arena grading to keep it level?
And how deep should that substance need to be?
Most of what is available to us locally is top soil and Ga clay. Anthing else would have to be bought and trucked in, but that is an option to make it work.
Water being available to the riding area is not a problem.
Any suggestions before I spend the money for the wrong thing would be appreciated.
This isn't the most glamorous solution but where I board we have "endless" sugar sand and the BO solves this by spreading stall muckings in the arena and on the training track. Since its such deep sand, it never holds any water and so it never gets slick or mucky. Does a great job actually, its quite nice to ride/drive on.
Horses on the farm live out though 24/7, and very few of us use shavings/bedding, so the muckings are primarily manure/hay, not shavings/straw.
It does help but as you can imagine, it is very hard to maintain with high traffic. Also, the ruts in certain areas are hard to maintain and keep level...and keep the grass growing. I even bought a heavy roller and that did not work either. The sand is just not that good for growing grass when it is constantly being ridden on. Ga Clay can be quite sticky, I am considering mixing it in as a base and see how that works. I did buy the USDF booklet, so maybe that will have some more ideas specific to our area problem. Unfortunately, I am the only one in my area (we own all the way to the river edge) that has horses, so I don't have anyone that has tried to make this work close by. Thanks again!
.......and it has helped, but I only have 1-3 horses in part time, so at the rate I am going, I will be 92+ years old, maybe, before I begin to make any real headway with that . I think I will keep doing it when I add in the clay though......if that is the way we decide to go.
I have clay underneath with small peebles on top very small pebbles with sand on top. Maybe try putting down a thick coat of ga clay with some small pebbles and topping it back in sand. The only thing is you need to grade the arena when doing this so it drains well
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
I think no matter what you do you need to lay down some felt or eurofelt or landscaping felt to stableize the area, otherwise, anything you put down will only get mixed in, eventually and you will be right bac where you started in a year or two.
You need a landscaping felt which is strong and stable to keep your footing from being mixed in, deeply. Remember, horse hooves can really dig up an area. Without it, you might as well go out with a shovel and hack away at it, that's how much each hoof dig is going to dig it up.
...I am now at the stage of wine-surfing COTH